Alternative Approaches

Alternative approaches involve using non-animal test methods instead of live animals. The HPRA ensures that non-animal alternatives are always considered during project evaluation. However, the development and validation of new tests without animal use falls under the responsibility of the Department of Health. Various EU bodies such as EURL ECVAM and PARERE engage in these tasks.

Before conducting scientific research involving animals, scientists must demonstrate why non-animal methods cannot be used and clearly outline the scientific objectives of their work. There are publicly available resources to help scientists gather information on alternatives. 

The European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) provides a useful search guide on basic principles for data retrieval procedures, which serves as a starting point and search tool.

PARERE (Preliminary Assessment of Regulatory Relevance)

Role of HPRA

  • We endorse the use of alternative approach methods/models in research and industry, in line with the principle of Replacement. 
  • We welcome any changes in research practice or relevant new approaches consistent with this principle.

Our aim is to promote the development and transition to alternative approaches by adopting non- animal test methods in Ireland and timely dissemination of 3Rs information. 

The HPRA is not the national competent authority for identifying specialist laboratories for validation studies on alternative test methods or for providing advice on the regulatory relevance and suitability of alternative approaches.

We rely mainly on application fees to cover the cost of providing our services. Therefore, we do not have a budget to support the development and validation of non-animal alternative tests.